Ukraine flag painted in entrance of Russian Embassy by London activists


LONDON — Ben Stewart arrived outdoors the Russian Embassy early on Thursday morning with a throng of volunteers, 4 wheelbarrows and 70 gallons of blue and yellow paint, able to ship a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

“I just thought, if I get enough paint down there, the cars can create the flag,” mentioned Stewart, one the founders of the activist group Led by Donkeys, informed The Washington Post.

Sure sufficient, the volunteers tipped the paint into the highway, and the London site visitors did the remainder, spreading it out to make an enormous Ukrainian flag immediately in entrance of the embassy.

Countries world wide this week are marking a yr of Russia’s warfare. Paris lit up the Eiffel Tower. In Wellington New Zealand, people threw sunflowers into the water. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who lately hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, will lead a minute’s silence on Friday.

But it might be the flag stunt that’s the most memorable anniversary marker in Britain.

“Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Putin’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine, an independent state and a people with every right to self-determination. The existence of a massive Ukrainian flag outside his embassy in London will serve to remind him of that,” Led by Donkeys posted on social media. The tweet rapidly went viral.

“Like many people, we are deeply moved by the resistance and determination of Ukrainian people,” mentioned Stewart, 48. “There’s obviously many manifestations of solidarity. It’s right that Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak go to Kyiv, but there’s so much support by people and you rarely see examples of civil solidarity, and we wanted to show that London and Britain stand with Ukraine,” he mentioned.

Read also  3 wildlife crossings now a part of L.A.-Vegas high-speed rail plan

Britain likes to see itself as taking part in a number one position in help for Ukraine, and its navy help is second solely to contributions from the United States.

Britain, nonetheless, has carried out a lot lower than many European international locations on the subject of taking in Ukrainian refugees. The authorities, beneath then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, launched a DIY program that required Brits to establish particular person refugees they needed to sponsor. Some Brits have been prepared hosts — one man interviewed by The Washington Post even flew to the Ukraine border with Cadbury bars. But there have been studies of a rise in evictions and homelessness.

Britain’s pick-a-refugee program had one Brit flying to Poland with Cadbury bars

At the political stage, help for backing Ukraine within the battle has remained robust, with lawmakers from all events displaying a type of unity hasn’t been seen usually within the topsy-turvy post-Brexit years.

Bronwen Maddox, director of Chatham House, a London assume tank, mentioned: “Politicians want to keep supporting Ukraine out of principle, out of recognition of national feeling, and in the muddle and aftermath of Brexit, this is something that Britain wants to do and can do well, as part of the European and Western contribution, at what is a slightly confused and fretful point in British politics.”

Surveys present the British public’s help for Ukraine has remained robust, even whereas many individuals believed the warfare contributed to a cost-of-living disaster right here. That sentiment might not have been examined as a lot because it may have, with pure gasoline costs easing in current weeks.

Read also  Biden says downed aerial objects most likely tied to analysis

The stunt outdoors the embassy on Thursday wasn’t with out its hiccups, Stewart mentioned. Four volunteers on the “blue paint team” have been arrested by the London Metropolitan Police for obstructing site visitors.

“But luckily people from the yellow paint team ran over and helped out with the blue paint,” Stewart mentioned. “And five minutes after they tipped the paint, we had a Ukrainian flag.”

Cars have been, at first, hesitant to drive over the paint, Stewart mentioned, at the same time as protesters held aloft indicators that learn: “Ukrainian Solidarity Protest — Drive slowly — Washable paint.”

But after a number of autos went by, others adopted.

War in Ukraine: What you want to know

The newest: President Biden made a dramatic, unannounced go to to Kyiv on Monday, in a show of sturdy American help for Ukraine simply 4 days earlier than the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The high-risk go to to the historic Ukrainian capital signaled continued dedication from the United States, Ukraine’s largest monetary and navy backer. Biden is ready to go to Poland subsequent, to debate Western efforts to assist Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion. Read the newest right here.

The battle: Russia has been focusing on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure with missile and drone strikes since October, usually knocking out electrical energy, heating and water within the nation. Despite heavy preventing, no aspect has made important features for months. Western allies agreed to a brand new wave of elaborate weapons, together with Leopard tanks, hoping it might change the stability on the battlefield.

Read also  England palms Ukraine defeat on emotional night time at Wembley Stadium

A yr of warfare: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warfare has set off a historic exodus of his personal folks, with information displaying that not less than 500,000, and maybe practically 1 million, have left Russia because the begin of the battle in Ukraine. Despite that and in depth sanctions, the Russian financial system has remained extra resilient than many anticipated. There are indicators, nonetheless, that Putin’s luck could also be beginning to run out.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the bottom from the start of the warfare — right here’s a few of their strongest work.

How you possibly can assist: Here are methods these within the United States can help the Ukrainian folks in addition to what folks world wide have been donating.

Read our full protection of the Russia-Ukraine warfare. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and unique video.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *